Extended travel is a series of cycles. You don’t just pack, unpack, pack, and fly home. There’s more. We run out of stuff. Things go awry. Here are the cycles I’ve identified so far. We constantly need to monitor these for our mental health. Otherwise we get irritable. Especially due to the last one.
The Laundry Cycle
We go about two weeks between laundry loads … I think. It’s really tough to remember the last time we did laundry. Each time we do it it seems like we’ll never have to do it again. Then the clothing piles up and it’s time to go again. This one is inter-dependent with the Shower Cycle (below). More showers lead to burning through the clean clothing supply faster. For me, at least. Lisa is less gross.
The Planning Cycle
We can plan about a week out, then we need to plan again because either our plans have been accomplished or have fallen apart. This one is tricky. We can tell we’re close to needing to plan farther out when we both get a little short on patience. Some planning makes both of us a bit more relaxed. When plans start to fall apart, I think I get more stressed out than Lisa because more times than not, it’s me searching on the phone for an alternative campsite or lunch spot. Haste doesn’t always lead to travel nirvana, but sometimes you luck out and stumble into places like Joe’s Jost.
The Shower Cycle
Every day, every-other-day, who knows. Take ’em when you got ’em. The longest we’ve stretched was in Death Valley. Four shower-less days in a row and it’s time for evasive maneuvers.
The Wine Cycle
Some boxes last four days, others last over a week. Other times we grab a bottle instead or a sixer of beers. This one depends on what else we’re doing. Our supplies stretch if we hit up a dive bar, but get short when we near the end of the planning cycle and get fidgety. Regardless, lack of wine just means it’s time for more wine.
The Library Cycle
We hit the library whenever we need posts or power, usually it’s both. Most weeks, it takes 2-3 visits per to get the content on the site and take care of whatever else we need to do. We try to schedule things out a few days into the future. When the library’s WiFi is slow, it sure is a drag. Or when we have to go battery-mode and rush for as long as the lithium ions hold out.
The Mayoral Cycle
I check in constantly trying to be the Foursquare Mayor of oddball places. It’s my somewhat lame addiction, but I’m the mayor of Lost Dutchman, Death Valley, La Quinta Carlsbad, Lake Elsinore, City of Rocks, Salton Sea, Doheny State Beach, St. Elmo’s Bar, and the Double Adobe RV Park. I’m awesome.
The Poo Cycle
This borders on TMI, but tough luck. I think there’s a relation to proximity to nice bathrooms and frequency of … movements. Still just a theory at this point. Give it a try at home at let me know how it goes.